At the start of 2020, it seemed that the race for the presidency would be the No. 1 news item of the year.
From the impeachment hearings in January to the caucuses in February, politics was front and center. Then the pandemic hit.
Up to that point, UNLV political scientists were weighing in on the slate of Democratic presidential candidates, and potential outcomes in primary races across the country. For a little while, though, politics seemed to drop off the radar. That is until a Democratic nominee was chosen, and the contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump heated up.
Amid the confusion and worry of 2020, UNLV experts parsed through all of the partisan back and forth to provide practical guidance on all things politics including the dilemma of mail-in ballots, who won and who lost the presidential debates, and the perils of virtual political discussion among social media friends. Despite the unpredictable series of events throughout 2020, UNLV experts effectively offered their expertise to the nation in the world of politics, forecasting what may lie ahead for the country as a whole.
The pandemic raged on, and with it arose another sweeping change that affects the nation for years to come – the presidential election. As President Donald Trump’s first term in office was drawing to a close, the emergence of new political figures and global crises left the country stirring with questions about the election. How do mail-in ballots work? What is the significance of Nevada being a swing state? Who “won” the two presidential debates? University experts were readily available to answer these questions and more.
- Professor of political science Rebecca Gill analyzes candidates Mike Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders in the presidential race: The Sunday Post, Vox, and CNBC.
- Professor of political science Tiffiany Howard comments on Biden’s presidential win on Al Jazeera.
- History professor Michael Green weighs in on candidates’ appeal to minority voters, and Mike Bloomberg’s entrance into the race: Washington Examiner, Berliner Zeitung, KSNV-TV: News 3.
- Political science professor Dan Lee discusses candidates Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and Amy Klobuchar’s approach to the public, as well as the significant influence of third-party candidates:
- Political science chair David Damore discusses the campaigns of candidates Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg in U.S. News & World Report.
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang analyzes presidential candidates’ competitive actions towards each other: AZ Central, USA Today, Las Vegas Review-Journal (twice), San Francisco Chronicle (twice), Boston Herald.
- Director of the UNLV Debate Team Jacob Thompson talks with ABC News Australia about presidential candidate Joe Biden and his lead in the polls.
- UNLV Immigration Clinic director Michael Kagan discusses Joe Biden’s immigration plan and his actions as vice president with Buzzfeed.
- Political science professor David Fott on PBS Newshour.
- Professor of political science Rebecca Gill discusses Nevada’s preparations for the caucus on CNBC and The Christian Science Monitor.
- History professor Michael Green discusses the candidates and state’s response to the upcoming caucuses on KSNV-TV: News 3 and Courthouse News Service. He also discusses how Nevada could reshape the presidential race with the Los Angeles Times and candidate Pete Buttigieg with Leafly.
- Political scientist Dan Lee discusses voter’s influence on the Nevada caucus, as well as the ongoing impact of the presidential parties: The New York Times, NPR (twice), NBC, Las Vegas Sun, VOA, KNPR
- Political science chair David Damore covers the importance of the Nevada caucus, as well as the influence of unions:
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang analyzes the presidential parties and their influence amid the Nevada caucus: Las Vegas Sun, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider
- Political science professor Kenneth Miller reviews how Nevada’s caucus was seen as successful, as well as the state’s preventative measures to avert another Iowa caucus crisis:
- Political science professors Dan Lee & Kenneth Miller reviewed presidential candidates’ plans after the Nevada caucus on Las Vegas Sun.
- UNLV experts David Damore, Robert Lang, and William E. Brown Jr. discuss the importance of Nevada in electing a president: Brookings
- Director of the UNLV Debate Team Jacob Thompson analyzes the successes and failures candidates made in the Democratic primary, presidential and vice-presidential debates:
Mail-In Ballots, Unions & Voter Influence
- Political science professor John P. Tuman reviews how Latino voters impact the election: KNPR (twice), Las Vegas Review-Journal
- History professor Michael Green reviews the history of mail-in ballots and incentives for early voting on KVVU-TV: FOX 5.
- Ruben Garcia, co-director of the UNLV Workplace Law program, explains to Fox News the importance of health care to the Culinary Workers Union. Professor of Educational Policy and Higher Education Bradley Marianno explains how teachers’ unions are concerned with candidates' stance on in-person teaching during COVID-19.
- Political science chair David Damore goes in-depth on the Electoral College and the types of influential voters:
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang:
- Political science professor Kenneth Miller examines the importance of Las Vegas in the presidential election (Bem Parana) and candidate attempts to appeal to rural Nevada voters (Las Vegas Sun).
Swing States, Recounting & Voter Fraud
- Professor of political science Rebecca Gill reviews the legal repercussions the Trump campaign has taken, as well as the political concept of “New Nevada”.
- Journalism and Media Studies professor Stephen Bates explains to Top Class Actions that media outlets reported accurately on the presidential election results.
- History professor Michael Green reflects on the concept of ballot counting and voter fraud during the final days of the presidential race.
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang explains to CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, Raw Story, and WBUR the significance of swing states and Nevada’s shift away from the Republican party.
- Political science professor Dan Lee keys in on Nevada being a battleground state on KNPR and the deadline for identifying a new president on CNBC.
- Political science professor Kenneth Miller is interviewed by KTNV-TV: ABC 13 about the presidential race and the Latino vote. He also discusses voter fraud claims and voter registration: Wyoming Public Radio, KLAS-TV: 8 News Now, Bucks County Courier Times
- UNLV Immigration Clinic director Michael Kagan explains immigration status and citizenship amid allegations of voter fraud on The Nevada Independent.
- Political science chair David Damore explains to Estadao why Nevada is considered a swing state.
- David Damore, Robert E. Lang, and Karen A. Danielsen-Lang talk about how shifting demographics and changing suburbs are impacting the outcome of elections:
Justice Elect & Supreme Court
As Joe Biden and Donald Trump entered the final stretch of the presidential race, the spotlight turned to another American figure: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg, associate justice of the Supreme Court whose judicial actions revolutionized civil rights over the years, suddenly passed away. As the nation mourned its loss, a new name for the seat quickly surfaced – Amy Coney Barrett. The sudden turn of events left the nation wondering about the legalities of a quickened confirmation and with myriad questions about the nominee.
- Professor of political science Rebecca Gill analyzes Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment and confirmation.
- UNLV Health Law Program director David Orentlicher reflects on the powers of the Supreme Court.
- Student researcher Kristian Thymianos reflects on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s leadership in the Las Vegas Sun.
- Law professor Kathryn M. Stanchi explains Ginsburg’s legacy in The Atlantic.
- UNLV Immigration clinic director Michael Kagan examines Barrett’s legal stance on immigration cases in The Intercept.
In every election, the nation’s economy becomes a key subject. But in 2020, there was an even greater focus on the economy as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic became an everyday worry for Americans. As the federal government grappled with sending stimulus checks to struggling families, local leaders were tasked with the decision to close businesses. Throughout the year, UNLV experts covered the consequences of local and national shutdowns, highlighting the forecasts ahead for businesses in Las Vegas and beyond.
- Political science professor John P. Tuman on the Las Vegas economy and unemployment: Wall Street Journal, Nevada Current, The Nevada Independent
- History professor Michael Green and economics professor Bill Robinson explain the details behind Nevada’s shutdown on Fox News.
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang weighs in:
- Business and Economic Research director Stephen Miller offers insight:
Politics & Relationships
COVID-19 fatigue, quarantine fatigue, election fatigue – just the simple feeling of “I’m over it” became the defining feeling of 2020. So how do cooped up Americans react when they find out that their partner, friends, or family members have differing political views? Throughout the election, university experts tapped into the new social “media” distancing frontier, offering advice and support on how to better relationships.
- Communications professor Natalie Pennington explains how social media and political arguments can ruin relationships during the presidential race.
- UNLV Medicine Fellowship Director of Child and Adolescent & Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Lisa Durette offers advice on children and politics on KSNV-TV: News 3.
- Couple and Family Therapy professor Katherine M. Hertlein offers tips and advice for partners of opposing political parties on TODAY.
- Psychology professor Stephen D. Benning explains to KSNV-TV: News 3 how election fatigue is a normal experience.
General Expert Roundup
- Law professor Francine J. Lipman examines Donald Trump’s decade-long tax audit on MarketWatch.
- History professor Michael Green explains on KSNV-TV: News 3 that the president cannot override governors.
- Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute executive director Robert E. Lang examined Nevada’s population in the New York Times and confirmed on KTNV-TV: ABC 13 the limitations of the president’s power in withholding funding from the state of Nevada.
- Political science professor Austin Wang explains to Vox the reasons behind the positive ratings of Taiwan’s female leader during the COVID-19 pandemic and examines why Taiwan continues to fear a Chinese invasion in The National Interest.
- Political science professor David Fott goes in-depth on the significance of celebrating Constitution Day in The Nevada Independent.
- UNLV political scientist Dan Lee discusses the significance of Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District: Jewish Insider
- Professor of political science Rebecca Gill offers tips on how to become an informed voter for judicial races and the youth vote: